Power conditioning has got itself something of a bad rap in the UK. It seems to be big in the US, because they only have 110 volts to work with and the flimsiest looking plugs and sockets to connect to it. The mains grid in the UK delivers 230 volts of rock solid power (say the naysayers), and you connect to it with a fairly beefy three pin plug that can cope with rather more than the 13 amps it’s rated for. So why do we need anything to improve the power that goes into our kit? The answer is that the increasing amounts of pollution that the computer, wi-fi and general electronica that fills our homes all produces noise that feeds back into the mains. Unless you live up a mountain with 300 solar panels and as many batteries to store the energy, your mains supply is a carrier for alarming amounts of RFI and EMI, detritus, which if the results I got with the Genesis are anything to go by, have a marked negative effect on the potential of hi-fi components.
The Genesis is not a filter, a lot of mains conditioners are just that and this is not a bad thing if it’s done well, in fact it’s just about the only way to get enough juice to a big power amp without cramping its style. Instead Genesis is a re-generator, a device that takes the power coming out of the wall and uses it to build an ‘optimised’ mains sine wave which is fed to the output sockets. Genesis can deliver up to 600 watts, which is enough to run four source components and/or a preamp; possibly some low power amps as well, but it’s designed for front end stuff first and foremost.
Inside the substantial and elaborately isolated case, which many mistook for a power amplifier, lies about as much copper and heatsinking as you find in a power amp. This is a substantial device because it runs two independent generation cells as Isotek likes to call them. These create a cleaned up version of the incoming sine wave, which is then amplified by a 300 watt ‘generation engine’, effectively a class A/B amplifier. Isotek is keen to point out that Genesis works in a different way to most AC regenerators, because it doesn’t synthesise the mains by imposing a template frequency on it (50Hz in the UK) as that approach doesn’t remove distortion. Instead it builds a completely new sine wave at the desired frequency, which is then amplified and delivered via transformers with copper foil between primary and secondary outputs to stop any noise and distortion getting through. It’s designed to dramatically cut harmonic distortion (THD) on the mains.